Blyth Spartans’ management trio of Tom Wade, Lee Picton and Chris Bell have picked up an unusual, but prestigious, award.
They have won the Evo-Stik Premier Division Technical Area prize for their excellent behaviour during games.
After every game the referee awards points, up to a maximum of three, which reflect the overall actions and bearing of the manager and his colleagues. Spartans’ staff has averaged around 2.8 over this season.
Speaking on behalf of coach Lee Picton and physio Chris Bell, Blyth manager Tom Wade said: “Hearing of this prize came as something of a shock actually!
“Football is a passionate game, and sometimes you can get annoyed during a game, but we always try to treat the officials with respect and always shake their hands after a game, whatever has happened.
“We try not to shout and bawl at players. Keeping as calm as possible is important and rubs off on the team.
“I think this prize goes hand in hand with the Fair Play awards we’ve picked up.
“They are all about how we all conduct ourselves on the pitch as well as on the touchline.”
Droylsden picked up the prize for the First Division North and Newcastle Town for the First Division South.
The award for the winning management teams is a VIP experience at the forthcoming England versus the Netherlands match at Wembley.
Phil Bradley of the Evo-Stik League said: “The incentive of this prize from the FA has been a huge success in our league this season with technical area marks once again improving for seventh season in succession, and I have little doubt that some of that is down to the monthly tables we issue showing managers where they stand in relation to their peers on technical area behaviour and the wonderful prize on offer. All three clubs are worthy winners.”